I want to give up drugs

Experimenting with drugs is common as we’re finding our way in the world. Some of us will try drugs once or a few times and decide it’s not for us, and others might find a recreational drug they enjoy and keep doing it. Problems start when drugs take a bigger and bigger role in our lives, and we’re doing them everyday and using them to cope with our situations and emotions.

Some of us smoke marijuana recreationally, or take drugs on the weekend to get high or buzzed before hitting the town. But most people get to a point where it’s not as much fun as it used to be, or our lives change and we need to cut back or stop. Here are some tips for doing that.

ideas and inspiration

  • If you’re asking the question, you must have a pretty good idea that the answer is probably “yes”.
  • Most drugs are addictive, and the longer you continue to take them, the more likely you are to become an addict.
  • Drugs are illegal for a reason, they can wreck your brain, your productivity, your motivation, your health, and your relationships.
  • If you lie about your drug taking to other people, or yourself, then it’s a problem.
  • If you feel bad or guilty about your drug use, then the answer is “yes”.
  • If you have tried to give up or cut back and been unsuccessful, the answer is “yes”.

When we overdo the drugs we damage ourselves and often hurt others. If you’re worried drugs have become too big a part of your life, or you’re worried about someone else, take a look at our DRUG ADDICTION page as well.

It’s going to take a fair bit of resolve to cut back or stop doing drugs, particularly if you have been doing them for a while. Here are some things that might work for you:

  • Start doing more exercise. It’s sounds naff, but exercise can reduce your cravings and actually give you a natural high of endorphins.
  • Tell your mates what you’re trying to do. Good mates will let you get on with it. They might even join you.
  • Try having a weekend without doing any drugs.
  • Boredom is a great temptation to do drugs. Make plans and keep busy.
  • Make it difficult to access drugs – don’t have any around the house.
  • Avoid seeing people that you do drugs with. Being around them will likely tempt you and test your resolve.
  • If you are working hard to cut back or quit, but feel like you are having a bad day and craving a hit, call the Drug Helpline, ph 0800 787 797 (10am – 10pm).
  • Drug use can lead to paranoia and depression. Then you might feel you need to take more drugs to feel ‘normal’ again. This can be a vicious cycle.
  • Drugs are illegal. If you get caught you could end up with a police record, a fine or even in jail. This can mean you lose your job, and it can affect your future job prospects and travel plans.
  • Drugs affect your decision-making and rationality. You can make poor decisions, take dumb risks and say stupid things when you’re high.
  • Drug use can affect your sleep and make you groggy, cranky and foggy for the next day or two.

useful resources

Here are some useful brochures and resources that you can download for more information on recreational drugs.


If you would like to share your story about giving up drugs we’d love to hear from you. Fill in the form and we’ll get in touch.